Hughes wrote this poem in 1951, and Martin Luther King Jr. ” The word, deferred, in this context means that it is put off or delayed indefinitely.
gave his speech in 1963, just four short years prior to Hughes’ death. This seems a simple question at first, but once in context, has significant connotations.
This poem, which can be read in full here, simply, yet profoundly reveals his feelings.
The poem’s biblical reference is used to draw his readers to his point of view.
The first, being that like a piece of meat left to rot, it would just continue to get worse and worse the longer their hope for equality was denied.
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The second option is that it would simply crust over.
The question about raisins and the sun gives the readers vivid imagery of what he feels is happening to him as he has not yet seen his dream fulfilled.
This second question of the poem, relating to festering like a sore, paints a grotesque picture for the readers, one which can help them to strongly identify with the disgust Hughes feels.
Hughes felt the heavy burden of this weight upon his shoulders.
It had already been nearly ninety years since the African American people were freed and given rights as human beings.